Giving thanks to employees

Every holiday, my family of six makes the trek to my aunt’s house, who lives 10 minutes away with traffic. Even as a vegetarian, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. My sister and I usually spend all day in the kitchen, in a mad rush to “out-bake” each other by creating the most complicated, delicious desserts, before getting dressed up and heading to the family feast. It’s such a fun family affair. I remember the festivities two years ago, in a nostalgia-induced haze, where we were blessed with 18 of us all crammed on the living couch to take a family photo, smiles and a post-feast glow brightening our faces. I love that our family grows each year.

Looking back on years past, it seems like a world away. There were no masks, and we certainly didn’t stay six feet apart. This year, Thanksgiving will definitely be different. Like many of you, I’ll be celebrating with only my immediate family — a first in our family history. I’ll also miss going to our company’s Thanksgiving party where I ate one too many cheese puffs last year. Long gone are the office holiday parties and potluck affairs.

Employees everywhere are struggling with all the change and the lack of normalcy the remote office space brings. Many feel burnt out and exhausted. So, what can managers and leaders do to show their employees that while our lives and traditions may be a bit different this year that their appreciation for their employees is steadfast? Check out some of Bundle’s suggestions to show employees your appreciation this holiday season. Because we all know when employees feel appreciated, they perform better at work.

Take Black Friday Off. If you haven’t already, give them the Friday after Thanksgiving off. Honestly, who is productive the day after Thanksgiving anyway? All that tryptophane…will they really be focused anyway? Giving them the day to rest can help employees recharge and alleviate burnout, returning to work on Monday with renewed enthusiasm and productivity. It also shows your colleagues that you care about their mental and physical wellbeing.

New Traditions. Does Jill from accounting make a sensational stuffing recipe? Has Greg from HR bragged about his award-winning pumpkin pie? Create a new tradition and ask your employees for their favorite holiday recipe a week in advance and create your very own company cookbook! This gives everyone a chance to show off their treasured treats and encourages employees to connect in new ways and for you to show you care about them and their traditions.

A Real Card. Who doesn’t love getting something in the mail these days? Snail mail is fun and cool again. Send your employees a real physical thank you card this season. They’ll enjoy getting something in the mail other than bills and political mailers. A handwritten note from you expressing your gratitude might be just what they need to brighten their day and bring a smile to their face.

Pick up the Phone. Did you know that there are over 35.7 million single-person households in the US? With state lockdowns and limited gathering mandates coming into effect, many employees may be spending the day alone. And while some may prefer this, others may be dealing with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Try picking up the phone to share a little thanks and lift their spirits, telling your employees why you are thankful for them.

A Caring Cup of Coffee. Pre-pandemic, you might’ve shown your employees that you care with a daily coffee run. Working from home has put a stop to this tradition. Luckily, you can now send them the gift of a digital cup of joe at a Starbucks or Peet’s coffee in their neighborhood.

Bundle Benefits is a concierge benefits service that provides employees a break when they need it most.